Internal Head Gasket Leak
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16

This is a discussion on Internal Head Gasket Leak within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hi all, 02 wrx, stock. After replacing my drivers side head gasket a few months ago (long story), i now ...

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    25

    Internal Head Gasket Leak

    Hi all,

    02 wrx, stock.

    After replacing my drivers side head gasket a few months ago (long story), i now have coolant steam coming out of my exhaust, followed by a rough idle and engine code P1507 Idle control system malfunction (fail-safe).

    Is there ANY other possible cause besides an internal head gasket leak?

    Unless someone can convince me otherwise (please do...) i'm seeing this as a definite internal head gasket leak.
    Basically i'd like to find what caused this leak before i do it again.

    A few questions i'm looking to have answered.
    -Are the stock Head Bolts "Torque To Yield"?
    I followed the FSM when reinstalling the head reusing the stock bolts. (Torquing, backing them off - Retorquing - Backing them off.. etc..) perhaps this was what caused my current leak? I looked for a procedure on reuseing head bolts and found nothing.

    I'm going to do a compression test right now and update.
    Any guidance, help, advice, etc. is MUCH appreciated.. I need to fix this car...!

  2. Remove Advertisements
    ClubWRX.net
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,839
    You could do a cooling system pressure test..if you see bubbles in the overflow..than bingo...internal HG leak...However It is Super rare for a Subaru HG to leak internally. Did you use an OEM HG?....Is the car overheating at all? The head bolts are not torque to yield type bolts. So you haven't had any problems for a few months than you just started burning coolant? P1507 could be a host of problems..However as I'm sure others will tell you inspect and test the IAC first, but these cars are known to have problems with the neutral switch located on the D/S of the transmission...( the switch that tells the ECU when the vehicle is in neutral or not) If this switch fails the ECU doesn't know when the vehicle is in gear or not and cannot adjust things accordingly...Of course assuming this is a 5 spd manual?
    Last edited by EvoEatr; 08-26-2009 at 04:24 PM.

  4. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    25
    Cheaply, i did not use an OEM Head Gasket and went with a Cometic (Multi-Layer Steel) Head Gasket.. Also i did not use Subaru Coolant or the Conditioner. I Diluted Napa Antifreeze to 50/50. (prob. not the best choice in coolant). It is not overheating, however i really haven't given it the chance. The longest i've had the car running is 10 mins to move it from one location to the other.
    An interesting fact is it didn't throw the P1507 when driving, only when idling in the driveway.
    I haven't started the car since shortly after my last adventure of blunders with this car, when i pulled the head thinking i had valve damage.
    Link -> No start after Timing Belt Change.. & more!

    Remember me? i was the guy who pulled the head with the engine in the car!
    No valve damage, but after procedure there was Coolant vapor out exhaust and P1507. There was also coolant dripping out, but that was from the lower rad hose needing tightened. This is sadly completely my fault for making mistakes and it really sucks, but I'm determined to fix it and fix it right.
    It is very possible that the neutral switch is causing the P1507, since when i did the timing belt i also dropped the tranny to do the clutch.

    But as far as the coolant steam from the exhaust, the only causes are, very sadly, an internal head gasket leak, a cracked head or a cracked block, right? (please say i'm wrong...)

    When i get a free min. i'm going to see if i can rent a coolant system pressure tester. It's looking like i won't be able to really work on it until Tues. (Sept 2)

    I'm contemplating driving my 5 min commute to work, while the wrx is in it's temporary condition but have been holding off to avoid catastrophe.. any thoughts?

    I'm not even going to start tearing the engine apart this time until I'm sure. This time it's going to go right. Thanks for the help and guidance

  5. #4
    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,839
    Quote Originally Posted by jak461 View Post
    Cheaply, i did not use an OEM Head Gasket and went with a Cometic (Multi-Layer Steel) Head Gasket.. Also i did not use Subaru Coolant or the Conditioner. I Diluted Napa Antifreeze to 50/50. (prob. not the best choice in coolant). It is not overheating, however i really haven't given it the chance. The longest i've had the car running is 10 mins to move it from one location to the other.
    An interesting fact is it didn't throw the P1507 when driving, only when idling in the driveway.
    I haven't started the car since shortly after my last adventure of blunders with this car, when i pulled the head thinking i had valve damage.
    Link -> No start after Timing Belt Change.. & more!

    Remember me? i was the guy who pulled the head with the engine in the car!
    No valve damage, but after procedure there was Coolant vapor out exhaust and P1507. There was also coolant dripping out, but that was from the lower rad hose needing tightened. This is sadly completely my fault for making mistakes and it really sucks, but I'm determined to fix it and fix it right.
    It is very possible that the neutral switch is causing the P1507, since when i did the timing belt i also dropped the tranny to do the clutch.

    But as far as the coolant steam from the exhaust, the only causes are, very sadly, an internal head gasket leak, a cracked head or a cracked block, right? (please say i'm wrong...)

    When i get a free min. i'm going to see if i can rent a coolant system pressure tester. It's looking like i won't be able to really work on it until Tues. (Sept 2)

    I'm contemplating driving my 5 min commute to work, while the wrx is in it's temporary condition but have been holding off to avoid catastrophe.. any thoughts?

    I'm not even going to start tearing the engine apart this time until I'm sure. This time it's going to go right. Thanks for the help and guidance
    OH yes yes yes the guy who did it in the car.....Personally I would not drive the car any distance fore you dont know the extent of what is wrong...Unfortunately those are pretty much the only reasons you could be burning coolant..of course the turbo could be a problem but i highly doubt it considering you just did the HG and the problem wasnt there before...You didnt use any type of gasket sealer or anything along with the HG did you? Did you clean off the mating surfaces really good with like brakekleen/solvent and a die grinder?..Cleanliness is very important here...let us know how the cooling system pressure test turns out... you could also do a combustion leak test which will test for exhaust gases in the coolant however your saying there is coolant in the exhaust so thats kind of pointless..I hate to say this but I have a gut feeling the head is going to have to come back off...and possibly worse...

  6. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    25
    Starting the work tonight.
    I've had two full months away from the car, and i'm ready to dig in again, a lot wiser and a lot more prepared.
    I'm not going to rent the coolant system pressure tester since i'm about 99% sure it'll just confirm the internal leak, and fill my cylinders with coolant.. i think.

    EvoEatr -> you said the turbo could possibly make coolant vapor out of the exhaust? What would i need to look for in that circumstance? Also, i did not use any sealant when installing the head gasket.

    I'm trying to find the error of my previous Head gasket replacement, and i'm thinking maybe:
    1) i torqued it incorrectly? (i did follow the FSM, but perhaps the torquing, backing off, torquing, backing off thing was not necessary for used bolts?)
    2) Possibly damaged the gasket while installing? (replacing the head with the engine in the car was a tight squeeze, the bolts may have gently "sawed" the gasket while gliding into the block causing failure.
    3) The surfaces were perhaps not as clean as they should have been. However they were scrubbed with Brakekleen pretty well.
    4) Used a cheap Head Gasket. (i'm using a new one of the same brand this time, because I'm broke and i already have this one.)

    This will be my 4th time doing the timing belt, so it should be getting to be a no brainer for me.
    That's all i've got right now..
    as always, your help and 2 cents are very much appreciated.
    Thanks and wish me luck everybody

  7. #6
    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,839
    It is possible to be burning coolant if the turbo was bad, however I have NEVER seen one on a Subaru burn coolant when it failed.so I would think that is extremely unlikely..they usually just leak oil into the DP. The torque procedure in the FSM should be correct, just keep in mind torque sequence/spec is very critical here. try this if you have the room in the vehicle..after coating the threads of the head bolts with a little oil install them in the head, than pull them out a little and wrap a rubber band around the heads of them ( I usually use two rubber bands 1 for 3 bolts just to keep a tad of tension on them) this makes install much easier especially when your doing the HG in the car ( which I've never done on a DOHC Subaru).I'm also assuming you have the motor mounts undone and a block of wood or large socket between the motor mount and the engine cradle to give you clearance to work? no prob. though man..let us know what you find..

  8. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    25
    Well good to hear that the turbo isn't the issue (i think, i don't know which would be a easier/cheaper fix however ha ha)
    "I'm also assuming you have the motor mounts undone and a block of wood or large socket between the motor mount and the engine cradle to give you clearance to work?"
    I didn't have it that way before, that sounds like a great idea though i may give it a shot. Also the rubber band idea should keep those little suckers from sliding around..


    From the FSM:
    Tighten the cylinder head bolts.
    (1) Apply a coat of engine oil to washers and
    bolt threads.
    (2) Tighten all bolts to 29 N.m (3.0 kgf-m, 22 ft-
    Ib) in alphabetical sequence.
    Then tighten all bolts to 69 N-m (7.0 kgf-m, 51 ft-
    Ib) in alphabetical sequence.
    (3) Back off all bolts by 180" first; back them off
    by 180" again.
    (4) Tighten the bolts (A) and (B) to 34 N-m (3.5
    kgf-m, 25 ft-lb).
    (5) Tighten the bolts (C), (D), (E) and (F) to 15
    N-m (1.5 kgf-m, 11 ft-lb).
    n n
    (6) Tighten all bolts by 80 to 90" in alphabetical
    sequence.
    CAUTION:
    Do not tighten the bolts more than 90".
    (7) Further tighten all bolts by 80 to 90" in alphabetical
    sequence.

    When i did this previously, in step (3) the bolts were loose enough to twist with my hands, which didn't seem right to me.

    thoughts?
    Thanks

  9. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    25
    Update:

    oil floating in coolant after drain...

  10. #9
    Registered User khawajakustoms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    San Jose
    Posts
    14
    could you link me to the instructions you are using to get to your headgaskets?

    edit: found it! should have google searched first. Sorry!
    Last edited by khawajakustoms; 09-02-2009 at 02:37 PM.

  11. #10
    Registered User EvoEatr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,839
    Quote Originally Posted by jak461 View Post
    Well good to hear that the turbo isn't the issue (i think, i don't know which would be a easier/cheaper fix however ha ha)


    I didn't have it that way before, that sounds like a great idea though i may give it a shot. Also the rubber band idea should keep those little suckers from sliding around..


    From the FSM:
    Tighten the cylinder head bolts.
    (1) Apply a coat of engine oil to washers and
    bolt threads.
    (2) Tighten all bolts to 29 N.m (3.0 kgf-m, 22 ft-
    Ib) in alphabetical sequence.
    Then tighten all bolts to 69 N-m (7.0 kgf-m, 51 ft-
    Ib) in alphabetical sequence.
    (3) Back off all bolts by 180" first; back them off
    by 180" again.
    (4) Tighten the bolts (A) and (B) to 34 N-m (3.5
    kgf-m, 25 ft-lb).
    (5) Tighten the bolts (C), (D), (E) and (F) to 15
    N-m (1.5 kgf-m, 11 ft-lb).
    n n
    (6) Tighten all bolts by 80 to 90" in alphabetical
    sequence.
    CAUTION:
    Do not tighten the bolts more than 90".
    (7) Further tighten all bolts by 80 to 90" in alphabetical
    sequence.

    When i did this previously, in step (3) the bolts were loose enough to twist with my hands, which didn't seem right to me.

    thoughts?
    Thanks
    by the end of step three I suppose its possible that they are hand tight..however I think you would have to have super strong hands....I have never really tried to do anything with them by hand, I try to get the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible..lol..keep me updated...

  12. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    25
    3 Full days, a dark rainy driveway and the same f'n problem.

    Cleaned head and block until it shone, torqued perfectly, and didn't damage the new head gasket.
    New Oil, filter, coolant,
    I really don't know what to do, i can't afford $2400+ to take it in. and honestly i don't know if i can do this again just to see the same results. I also need a car asap.
    What price could i get for this car if it has an internal leak? I'm thinking $3000 prob.

    any ideas?
    Head into the machine shop? And would the block need to go too (pull the engine)?

    Perhaps i have a rare turbo coolant leak?

    sigh.

  13. #12
    Administrator Trainrex's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Posts
    26,593
    I Support ClubWRX
    Before you do anything else, do a coolant hydrocarbon test. You can purchase a tester here:

    UVIEW COMBUSTION BLOCK LEAK TEST FOR GAS & DIESEL

    If you find hydrocarbon in the coolant, you may have a cracked head and or block.

  14. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    25
    Awesome. I'll see if i can order that today.

    Also, the more i read about turbo seals going bad the more it seems like that is what is wrong.
    I mean it is the same exact problem that i had before replacing the head gasket.

    I'm going to start a new post about a possible turbo leaking coolant and see what happens.

    Thanks

  15. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    25
    I picked up the block tester from napa today, ran the test. No exhaust gases present in coolant system.

    There is still vapor out of the exhaust, P1507 cel, after warm up engine revs up and down from idle +or- 500 rpm consistantly.

    i also saw some smoke/vapor from the water pump thermostat area in the engine compartment. no visable leaks besides the vapor.

    i think this is good news..
    Any ideas?

  16. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    25
    Replaced cracked vacuum hose from turbo to boost control solenoid.

    The exhast vapor is much lighter now, almost like it's condensation, and smells much less of coolant. I'm going to clean my IACV.

    Here is exactly what is happening:
    -I clear cel
    -car idles fine while warming up
    -coolant temp gauge hits first line then cel throws 1507, car idles rough.
    Thanks all

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Quick Reply Quick Reply

Register Now

Please enter the name by which you would like to log-in and be known on this site.
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.

Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Please enter a valid email address for yourself. We strongly suggest that you stay away from using aol, yahoo, msn, and hotmail accounts. Sometimes the mail server blocks the emails from our server. As a result you will not receive any notifications including the confirmation email.

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Posting Permissions

  • You may post new threads
  • You may post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •